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Massage Ordinance Passes Unanimously
Council Vote
city oak

After months of debate, the Oakdale City Council finally passed the proposed massage ordinance at the Monday night meeting, Oct. 16 but not without some council members expressing reservations.

For many of the council, the sticking point continued to be the requirement of a CAMTC (California Massage Therapy Council) certification for all massage businesses licensed within the city of Oakdale as it is regulatory in nature, which could potentially create unnecessary log jams for legitimate businesses looking to open in Oakdale.

Several council members were on the fence, teetering on sending the proposed ordinance back to the drawing board, acknowledging that shutting down the illicit businesses was key, but CAMTC might not be the answer.

Throughout the lengthy process, businesses owners have shared pros and cons of having the CAMTC requirement but ultimately, most were in favor.

Michelle Scott, of Massage and Bodywork Education Center, took to the podium in favor of the requirement, saying, “We need to check that people are qualified to work … Any professional in any industry, we always have qualifications that need to be met for anyone to work.”

However, council member Bob Amaral countered, “I’m not against setting standards, something needs to be done but I just have a big question mark on this CAMTC.”

Council members Christopher Smith and Fred Smith echoed similar concerns.

While understanding of the expressed concerns, City Manager Bryan Whitemyer, offered, “Sometimes we have to rely on those who are more educated on this than us. We have letters of support from other agencies.”

After much discussion, the ordinance passed 5-0 with Oakdale Mayor Cherilyn Bairos praising the time and effort put into the drafting of the ordinance.

“This is just another tool in our tool belt … I’m all for it,” she said.

Key provisions of the ordinance are as follows:

• Massage businesses must obtain a “Massage Registration Certificate” (Certificate) verifying that a massage business consists of only CAMTC State-certified massage practitioners. The CAMTC certification requirement applies to those individuals and businesses obtaining a massage business permit after Dec. 1.

• The Police Department may collect important information, including names of all business owners, employees, independent contractors, and any massage business owner not certified by the CAMTC of state or local law.

• No Massage Registration Certificate may be issued for a business at a fixed location if that location was previously used by another massage business that has a suspended or revoked registration, has received a notice of suspension, or has outstanding fines issued under the terms of the ordinance.

• All massage businesses in the City must comply with operating standards addressing issues such as hours of operation, cleanliness, attire, and advertising to ensure health and safety and prevent illegal activities, including but not limited to the following: Hours of operation are limited to 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., with no massage from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m.

• No curtains, blinds, or other material shall obstruct or blur any windows from the street looking into the reception area of a massage business.

• No massage business shall allow any person to reside within the business or any structures owned, leased, or controlled by the business. This provision is intended to reduce the likelihood of human trafficking.

• Massage schools will be able to have massage clients as part of the education process.

This ordinance will not affect businesses that are currently in business with valid business licenses.

For more information on the provisions within the new ordinance, call the Oakdale Police Department at 209-847-2231.